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Flip Saunders clarifies, says D-League is not for punishment

By Matt Moore | NBA writer

Flip Saunders says the D-League will not be used as a punitive tool. (USATSI)
Flip Saunders says the D-League will not be used as a punitive tool. (USATSI)

After indicating that Shabazz Muhammad could face a trip to Des Moines and a stint with the D-League Iowa Energy over the weekend, Timberwolves president Flip Saunders took to Twitter to clarify his position regarding the D-League as a punitive tool.

Well, kind of. Saunders coached in the CBA from 1988 to 1995, before the D-League was formed. Saunders did coach with the Sioux Falls Skyforce which later became a D-League affiliate, but the league structures were different.

It's good to hear that Saunders is not down with punishing players by sending them down. The D-League continues to evolve as a very useful tool for teams to integrate players at a pace that works for them and allows them to adapt to the systems and habits they need at an NBA level. It remains to be seen whether Muhammad would benefit from time down there. Polish isn't really Muhammad's limitation, it's more physical and skill-based.

But the D-League can be used to get guys on the right track mentally, away from the pressures and focus in the big club.

Oh, and congrats to Saunders and his daughter on her nuptials!

Congrats to my daughter Mindy and Ryan on their wedding. So much fun. You are the best. pic.twitter.com/2kkZ62ATAp

— Flip Saunders (@Flip_Saunders) August 12, 2013>

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